HomeThe constitution of digital authorities in the production and circulation of information

HomeThe constitution of digital authorities in the production and circulation of information

The constitution of digital authorities in the production and circulation of information

La constitution des autorités numériques dans la production et la circulation de l’information

Revue « Étude de Communication » 55

*  *  *

Published on Tuesday, September 17, 2019Tuesday, September 17, 2019 by Céline Guilleux


Les modifications du « faire autorité » se laissent observer dans les dispositifs numériques en réseau à travers les productions écrites, textuelles ou imagières. Alors que les notions de collaboration, de participation et de partage sont utilisées par les propriétaires des plateformes de réseautage « social » pour publiciser leurs projets, la question de l’autorité numérique qui est au cœur de la production et de la circulation des contenus sur ces plateformes mérite d’être approfondie. Ce dossier d’Études de communication portera sur la constitution des diverses formes d’autorités numériques à l’œuvre sur les réseaux.



Changes in the authoritative can be observed in networked digital communication devices though written, textual or imagery production. While the notions of collaboration, participation, sharing are used by social networking platform owners to publicize their projects, the question of digital authority which is at the heart of the production and circulation of content on these platforms needs to be more deeply elaborated. This issue aims to address what are the constituents of digital authorities at work on the networks.

The new actors of digital authority

The current period appears to be characterized by a declining trust in information sources and professionals. Observing what are the changes in the processes of recognition, legitimization, authorization of transformed speech (reputation, credibility, presence, identity, authority, etc.) is a priority for a clearer understanding of this phenomena. The emergence of new actors questions the relationship of power and influence (horizontality, circulation of information) in societies and organizations; a typology of these actors is needed.

More precisely, the direct exchanges carried out in discussion and publication spaces occur in accordance with systems of relevance that would have to be deconstructed, according to the different contexts of use. To participate, trust is necessary, but this climate of trust is first of all caused by attention capturing technologies that influence human behavior (eg work of the Standford Persuasive Tech Lab), which also raises the question of the systemic role played by the interfaces.

Digital authorities and documentary modeling

Digital authority can also be questioned in info-documentary terms by the organization of knowledge. The evolution of knowledge-mapping systems in scholarly publishing environments tends to granularize what is quoted. Encoding technologies such as linked open-data insert references, comments, and automatizable recommendations into an ever-thinner web of references. The question of the responsibilities of the author, the publisher, the reader and the infomediaries in the information architecture arises when everyone is able to enrich on their own the original production.

The role of algorithms in the definition of authorities

The algorithmic editorialization already well known with collaborative filtering and recommendation engines is becoming more subtle. Thus the figures of the "robot-author" have become commonplace in artistic creation and in processing press information. The question arises of a breach that could take place in the contracts of intentionality and originality linking the creative function to the interpretative function, when the algorithmic creation is passed over in silence. The consequences of these new ways of doing things could also lie in the amplification of a phenomenon of distrust. It is currently identifiable in the adherence to conspiracy theories and revivals of irrational beliefs on social networks. Disintermediation based on the absence of an identifiable author also questions the resulting lack of liability. In a broader sense, device modeling distributes authority in organizational processes (eg, Wikipedia, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, etc.).

The expected contributions to this issue can be theoretical or empirical and address, but not limited to, the following fields: political, journalistic, educational, documentary, religious, artistic, etc.

The dossier will gather articles according to the following orientations of which we propose some examples:

  • authority as a relationship of trust: the factors for establishing an authoritative relationship and the resulting influence,
  • distributed organizational devices and platforms: citizen participation in knowledge development, blockchain proof management,
  • the authority and the systems of organization of the knowledge: the evaluation, the validation of the contents, the governance on Wikipedia,
  • editorialization and authority: the role of the publisher and that of the valorisation of works facing automation,
  • communication and organizational authority: changes in the managerial management of companies.

Bibliographie indicative

  • Arendt, H. (1972). « Qu’est-ce que l’autorité ? » Dans La crise de la culture (p. 121-252). Paris, France : Gallimard.
  • Alloing, C. (2017). « La réputation pour questionner l’autorité informationnelle : vers une "autorité réputationnelle" ». Quaderni, (2), 33-41
  • Broudoux, E. (2017). « Autorité scientifique et épistémique à l’épreuve de la mesure des citations ». Études de communication. langages, information, médiations, (48), 177-198
  • Birnholtz, J. P. (2006). « What does it mean to be an author? The intersection of credit, contribution, and collaboration in science ». Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 57(13), 1758-1770.
  • Benoit-Barné, C., et Cooren, F. (2009). « The accomplishment of authority through presentification: how authority is distributed among and negotiated by organizational members ». Management Communication Quarterly, 23(1), 5–31
  • Collerette, P. (2002). Pouvoir, leadership et autorité dans les organisations. Sainte-Foy, QC, Canada : Presses de l'Université du Québec.
  • Favier, L & Ihadjadene, M. (2008). « Langages documentaires: ver une "crise de l´ autorité"? ». Sciences de la société, (75), 11-21.
  • Gadeau, O. (2015). « La (re) construction de l’autorité informationnelle dans les pratiques des journalistes québécois sur Twitter ». Communication. Information médias théories pratiques, 33(2).
  • Huvila, I. (2019). « Authoring social reality with documents: From authorship of documents and documentary boundary objects to practical authorship ». Journal of Documentation, 75(1), 44-61
  • Lewandowsky, S., Ecker, U. K., & Cook, J. (2017). « Beyond misinformation: Understanding and coping with the “post-truth” era ». Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 6(4), 353-369
  • Montal, T., & Reich, Z. (2017). « I, robot. You, journalist. Who is the author? Authorship, bylines and full disclosure in automated journalism ».Digital journalism, 5(7), 829-849.
  • Rieh, S. Y. (2002). « Judgment of information quality and cognitive authority in the Web ». Journal of the American society for information science and technology, 53(2), 145-161
  • Taylor, J. R. et Van Every, E. J. (2015). « When organization fails: why authority matters ». New York, NY, États-Unis : Routledge.
  • Vásquez, C., Bencherki, N., Cooren, F., & Sergi, V. (2018). « From ‘matters of concern’ to ‘matters of authority’: Studying the performativity of strategy from a communicative constitution of organization (CCO) approach ». Long Range Planning, 51(3), 417-435.
  • Van Zundert, J. J. (2015). « Author, editor, engineer - Code & the rewriting of authorship in scholarly editing ». Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 40(4), 349-375.
  • Wilson, P. (1983). Second-hand knowledge: An inquiry into cognitive authority. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood.


  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019Tuesday, October 15, 2019


  • information, autorité, numérique, éditorialisation, confiance, plateforme numérique, e-reputation, fake news, organisation


  • Madjid Ihadjadene
    courriel : madjid [dot] ihadjadene [at] univ-paris8 [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Madjid Ihadjadene
    courriel : madjid [dot] ihadjadene [at] univ-paris8 [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« The constitution of digital authorities in the production and circulation of information », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, September 17, 2019Tuesday, September 17, 2019, https://calenda.org/669233

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search